St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message
 

During standoff, it treaded lightly

By BEN MONTGOMERY
Published April 20, 2007


ADVERTISEMENT

The unsung hero in last week's 10-hour hostage standoff lives in the back of a truck.

A few hours after Jeffrey Lane Dudney took hostages inside Shooting Sports on N Dale Mabry Highway, duty called for Andros F6A, a 300-pound robot lovingly referred to by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office bomb squad as "Andy" or "Six."

"The guy said he didn't want to see any police," said John Murray Jr., one of the hostages.

So about 200 sheriff's deputies stayed out of sight as the $180,000 robot whirred toward the building to retrieve a set of car keys. Cpl. Jimmie Fordham ran the thing from about 300 yards away using a remote control. After it retrieved the keys, the 3-year-old Remotec robot brought the gunman a bag of Xanax in exchange for a hostage, Murray, who crawled to safety.

You know the rest.

Turns out the robot is deployed hundreds of times a year to check suspicious packages and show off for schoolkids. It records video and audio, can pick up an egg without cracking the shell and appreciates a yearly lube job.

 

[Last modified April 20, 2007, 00:33:26]


Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT